Monday, December 21, 2009

Rolling Greens opening in L.A.

Contributor Debra Prinzing attended the recent opening of Rolling Greens, Hollywood’s latest nursery and garden emporium that opened in a former tire garage.

Says Debra, Rolling Greens looks and feels like one of those elegant places you feel giddy to discover in Paris or London – part mossy-scented flower shop, part eclectic antique shop. Over-sized bird cages hang at different levels from a floor-to-ceiling branch installation. Large-scale lighting made from found objects – semi-industrial materials like metal mesh and salvaged wire baskets with linen shades – fill the high ceilings. One wall display is made with cross-sections of twigs and branches, installed as a woody mosaic. There are even a few vintage chandeliers to add sparkle to the rustic interior. Expect home and garden items that please the eye, and displays that emulate room-like settings in some corners and artful tableaux in other areas.

Read about the party and see photos of the store.

Photo courtesy of Rolling Greens

Friday, December 18, 2009

Presidential Treatment

We like to call Jon Carloftis "our own." May we brag? On behalf of Better Homes and Gardens and Traditional Home, the Kentucky-born garden designer just completed the holiday decor of the courtyard at the 19th century Blair House — the official guesthouse of the President of the United States. (See the slideshow by clicking on the link below.)

Jon says they gave the traditional a new twist by hanging silver balls that looked like snow from the trees and used two different sizes of stainless steel balls in the containers and on the huge floor to make the space connected visually. They also reflected the light and could be used in a modern situation for an outstanding result. Jon added: "All the branches are from nature, including winterberry (Ilex verticillata) and southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) while the evergreen roping was common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens). All of these items could be used in a less traditional way with great effect. Plus, the winterberry provides food for birds later in the winter."

The garden will be seen only by White House Guests and for the many seasonal parties such as the one last Friday for the past Secretaries of State. There is an event nearly every day during December. Says Jon, "What a fun time to take a week off and do once in a lifetime!"

See a slideshow of the entire courtyard garden by clicking here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gift idea? EasyBloom Plant Sensor

You may think that we Garden Design editors wouldn’t need a technological chip to help us place our plants in the garden or to remember to water indoors. But seriously, we’re busy and can use all the help we can get (ok, I’m speaking for myself).

So I am really excited about this EasyBloom Plant Sensor. Place it anywhere you want to grow a flower, plant, vegetable, herb or tree and it will collect information including light, humidity, temperature and soil conditions. Then it synchs with the Web to tell you exactly what kind of plants will thrive in that location. EasyBloom will also diagnose ailing plants to help you bring them back to life and will give you an instant “chirp” if your plant needs more water.

It retails for $39.95, works with both PC and Mac and is easy to purchase. Find it at,, and

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ask a gardener and more from the High Line

Well this caught my attention (alas, I mean the photo, though the topic is good, too). The High Line gardeners (Maeve, Andi, Kaspar, Kyla and Johnny) will answer your planting-related questions. Send them to and if selected, the answer will be posted on the Ask a Gardener page on the High Line’s website. Be sure to include your name and city along with your question.

’Tis the season: See the High Line in every season. Winter is a great time to visit and to experience the changing landscape. Beginning on Monday, December 14, the High Line will be open daily from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Check for updates about park conditions and hours of operation during inclement weather.

Thursday, December 17, at 5:30 PM: Free Outdoor Concert by the NYC Lab School High School Chorus. They’ll perform seasonal and Broadway selections during two sets at 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM on the High Line in the Chelsea Market Passage, near 15th Street. No RSVP is necessary. Hot cocoa and gingerbread by Tom Colicchio's Craft Sweets will be available for purchase at the event for $3.

Photo by David Kimelman

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fab holiday floral décor

Each day Venice, California climbs up our radar of design hot spots. If you’re on Abbot Kenney Blvd, don't miss Floral Art, a 3,500-square-foot flower emporium that is both boutique and design studio. Or, browse online. The founder, Jennifer McGarigle, has been in the business for 17 years and has gained notable recognition through her loyal celebrity clientele and is well regarded for her distinctive style – fashion forward, sexy and immediately recognizable. As for designing for the holidays, Jennifer feels strongly about creating something that will last much longer than a traditional arrangement. For instance, paper whites in a lucite trough lined with moss (pictured, $250), or a collection of antique mirrored boxes filled with dried hydrangeas or even miniature cypress trees. (Note, select floral arrangements can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shop terrain online

Can't make it to Glen Mills, Pennsylvania for the shopping experience that is Terrain at Styer's — the home, garden and lifestyle store brought to us by the folks from Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters? Now you can shop online. Terrain recently launched their e-commerce site and it is loaded with unique garden goodies from containers to bird houses and a lot of in between. And, they are offering free shipping on orders over $100 until Dec. 24. Want some winter-time garden inspiration? When you go to the website, I suggest you click on "terrain at styer's" on the bottom for a preview of the garden center at the actual store.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bags woven from plant materials take reusable up a notch

Gift idea? Who said that reusable totes couldn't be stylish? These lightweight and sturdy woven bags are handmade in Morocco from all-natural and sustainable materials including palm leafs, water reeds and wild grasses. They're distributed by a company called Ecobags that is committed to helping create a sustainable environment. There are half-a-dozen styles of woven bags to choose from (priced from $40-$42. Each is handmade. And currently has a deal - free shipping on orders over $75.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Win TWO orchid and bromeliad arrangements

Five lucky people will each win two wrapped orchid and bromeliad double-planted mixed containers from innovative Florida grower, Silver Vase, Inc. Winners may choose to receive both or keep one and have the second one shipped to a friend.

Silver Vase, Inc. is an innovative orchid and bromeliad producer that is based in Homestead, Fla. Since 1988, Silver Vase, Inc. has dedicated itself to growing and expanding consumer demand for high-quality, exotic plants. In its environmentally controlled greenhouses and through its now 10-year-old Clean & Green Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, the operation guarantees its customers quality, proven varieties of Phalaenopsis orchids and a wide array of bromeliads in a spectrum of color. Their plants are sold through retailers as well as through several e-commerce sites. Enter until November 11.
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